Photocredit : Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians
This was the scene at Taiji Cove earlier today as some dolphins were released. It has been a neverending horror story that lasted 6 days. I cannot believe that this went on for so long for one pod of dolphins. They have very strong family/pod bonds and will not leave an injured or slower dolphin behind. It has been said that the Taiji drive fishermen are aware of this and exploit it by injuring one dolphin when they are chasing the pod. This slows the rest of them down and this is how they are driven into the Cove. The other strategy is to bang poles on the boats to disorientate the pod who are very sound sensitive. I suppose that is can be equated with the old hunting and tracking methodology of “know your prey”. The big difference is that ancient hunters actually had respect for and honoured the prey. Not even a quantum trace of that here.
The dolphins that were released today were so terrified that that mothers sped off without babies. That illustrates the extent of the trauma that they had been through. After a brutal chase, they had been held in the Cove for 6 days, given no food, gone through the horrifying selection process by the trainers and seen their family/pod members being dragged away, witnessed some of their pod being brutally slaughtered for meat. I would be disorientated and in terror flight response mode too.
I hope that they swim far away as the boats will be out again tonight, weather permitting, unless the hunters have had a mystical experience. They are likely to be suffering from what we would call post traumatic stress disorder. I hope that they feed and regroup and then swim fast and furiously and end up well out of harm’s reach.
Ironically duirng the last month, Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan suffering from brain trauma, or PTSD, tried a new type of therapy in California. Yes, you guessed it. Dolphin Therapy. wtvr.com/2012/11/10/dolphin-therapy-could-be-key-to-soldiers-suffering-from-ptsd/
“The therapy took place in a tank at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and included ten war veterans from a PTSD recovery program at the Pathway Home.
At first, there was a lot of skepticism from these service members. Their relationship began with just a little rubbing on the dolphins. But once they got comfortable with the mammals, the vets started dancing with the dolphins and even riding them around the tank.
In just two short hours, that emotional connection between the veterans and dolphins ended with kisses.”
This experiment was a success so they plan to bring other soldiers to the park for dolphin therapy.
Do not misunderstand me. I am highly sympathetic to soldiers who come back suffering from PTSD and I do want them to receive help. It just strikes me as very very ironic that in order to capture and select dolphins, we put them through so much horror. That is a war siutation to them. They have been chased by the enemy, held captive and been dragged away by their captors. Then they are imprioned in small tanks and lo and behold, are visited by traumatised humans.
Obviously I do not know which dolphins at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom met the soldiers.. Being me who likes to delve, I have come accross the Phinventory, compiled by Ceta-Base of The Six Flags Discovery Kingdom park. They list the dolphins that are at the park and the parentage. I see that bottlenose dolphins called Chelsea, Sadie, Jasmine and Merlin come from wild parents which suggests capture. Others have been bred from parents in captivity. http://www.ceta-base.com/phinventory/phins_sfdk.html
I would like to give credit to Enson Inoue who had what he described as an optimistic meeting with the Mayor of Taiji. Enson is a Japanese American mixed martial artist. He has intervened previously to get dolphins moved to larger facilities and to get rejected ones sent back out to sea. Also I would like to acknowledge the many people who have been faxing, tweeting and emailing on the dolphins’ behalf.
A massive thank you always goes to Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians for being in situ in Taiji and monitoring the Cove through each agonising day. They are the ones who are bringing us the information so that we can inform the world.
This has been the story of one pod. The campaign will continue until this barbaric drive hunt ceases. Turning Taiji into a tourist facility where people can go to see dolphins swimming in the ocean (not held in the Cove) and learn about them in their natural environment would attract a lot more people to the area, I am sure.
If you want to contact relevant agencies to speak up for the dolphins/whales, please refer to my previous post on Taiji where you will find contact lists.
Enson Inoue meeting the Mayor. Source : Enson Inoue Facebook page.